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Series Record

Title :
Annual reports
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Series Date(s) :
(1935-1963)  Begin Date: 1935    End Date: 1963 
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The County Engineer was an elected local official between 1907 and 1937. In 1937, with passage of the Washington State Aid Highway Act, elected county engineers were abolished and replaced by county road engineers appointed by county commissioners. This change sought to ensure that a qualified engineer was placed in each county to receive and account for state highway monies. The head of King County's engineering office used the title of County Road Engineer until approximately 1960, when usage reverted to County Engineer. This series consists of annual narrative and statistical reports issued by the county's engineering office between 1935 and 1963. Reports for 1935 and 1936 were issued by the last elected county engineer, Joseph P. Dodd. Reports for 1937-1989 were issued by the first county road engineer, Harry H. Sisler (entitled, respectively, Third, Fourth and Fifth Annual Reports of the County Road Engineer). These printed reports are illustrated with photographs. The 1939 report, issued in the during the fiftieth anniversary year of Washington statehood, includes summaries of Seattle and King County history. No reports are present in this series for the period 1940-1953. These reports reflect the functions for which the engineer's office was responsible: construction and maintenance of county roads, bridges and wharves; county parks and playgrounds (called "public works"); rights of way and franchises; and flood control. Reports for the 1930s also document activities of the King County Planning Commission (established 1935) and projects funded in part by the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA). Summaries of project cost accounting are present in these reports, often divided by King County Commissioner district (District 2, south county; District 3, north and east county. District 1 encompassed the city of Seattle , which undertook its own engineering program). District cost accounting dominated content of reports from 1953 to 1963. (Reports are not present in this series for 1958-1960). Entitled, "Annual Report of King County Road Districts," these reports include lists of road projects, mileages and costs; lists of warrants and vouchers; accounts payable and receivable; and accounting for other non-road funds (equipment rental and revolving fund, river improvement fund, river and flood control construction fund). Narrative reports covering other functions of the engineer's office may have been prepared separately: one is present in this series, for 1954 only. It includes summaries of activities for the building permit, right-of-way, office engineering (including plat review), traffic, contract inspection, field engineering (survey), river improvement, and District Engineer divisions. Reports for 1961-1963 contain cost accounting information and were issued under the name, King County Engineer.
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